Republicans In Alabama And Mississippi Still Think Obama Is A Muslim
Jonathan Chait picks up on another piece of data from the Public Policy Polling polls of Alabama and Mississippi that I wrote about earlier this morning:
PPP asks Republicans in Alabama, “Do you think Barack Obama is a Christian or a Muslim, or are you not sure?” Guess how many say Christian? 14%! Among the remaining 86%, “Muslim” slightly leads “not sure,” 45%-41%. (“Not sure” may by the demographic Rick Santorum is reaching out to when he accuses Obama of peddling a “phony theology.”)
But the Alabama Republicans are a thoroughly trusting lot in comparison with their Mississippi brethren. Among Mississippi Republicans, just 12% say Christian, 52% say Muslim, and 36% aren’t sure.
The poll also finds that two-thirds of the Republicans in both states do not believe in evolution. Two-thirds of Alabama Republicans also believe interracial marriage ought to be legal, compared with 54% of Mississippi Republicans. Progress!
The evolution thing is distressing but not surprising. We’ve seen numerous polls showing that Americans remain strangely attracted to a Creation Myth that is refuted by all manner of scientific evidence, not to mention logic. Given that Republicans tend to be more religious, and more religiously conservative, than Democrats, especially in the south, it’s not surprising to see a number that high. Like I said, it’s distressing but it is what it is.
But how to explain the religion thing? Is it a regional thing, or something peculiar to these two states? It’s probable that you won’t find Republicans in, say, New Jersey or Massachusetts holding the same views in those kind of numbers, so possibly it is. Even if you question PPP’s survey methods, it’s fairly clear that this absurd myth has a high number of adherents in certain parts of the country. That’s pretty pathetic.